June 17, 2014

Felix Hernandez certainly likes pitching at Petco Park. The Seattle Mariners ace can use a change of scenery after his last performance.

The right-hander looks to bounce back from one of his two bad starts of the season and remain undefeated on the road against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night when these teams continue a four-game series that Seattle has dominated thus far.

Hernandez (4-4, 2.86 ERA) had his first rough outing May 4 in Oakland, allowing eight runs - four earned - and nine hits in four-plus innings. He returned to form by recording a 2.21 ERA over his next three starts before struggling again Friday against AL-worst Minnesota.

The Twins reached Hernandez for six runs - five in the third inning - over six to hand him a 7-2 loss. He entered with a 1.55 ERA in his first four starts at Safeco Field.

"Obviously he's a great pitcher and has had a great career and has pitched a lot of great ball games here, just tonight was not one of them," manager Scott Servais told MLB's official website. "They just got going on him there in the third inning and he couldn't get them off his stuff.

"It happens. He's going to start 34 or 35 games for us and I hope that's the only one like that, but it's going to happen once in a while."

Hernandez hasn't any bad starts at Petco, going 5-0 with a 1.51 ERA in seven outings and posting a 1.13 ERA in the past six. He's also 20-9 with a 2.75 ERA in 37 starts against NL teams.

The Mariners (30-21) seem poised to give Hernandez plenty of support after rolling to a pair of victories in the first two games against last-place San Diego (20-33). They followed Monday's 9-3 win with a 16-4 rout Tuesday and have outscored the Padres 37-7 during a four-game win streak in the series.

Seattle scored its most runs Wednesday since crossing the plate 21 times at Texas in May 2012. It hit five home runs, with Seth Smith going deep twice and driving in four.

"We've got guys throughout the lineup that can do it and some guys that have been doing it all season," Smith said. "It's unique when it comes together and everybody is doing it on the same day, but nothing anyone did today was surprising."

San Diego sends Christian Friedrich (1-1, 1.65) to the mound for his fourth start. He's coming off his first win since 2012 with Colorado after allowing three hits over seven scoreless innings of a 10-3 victory at Arizona on Friday.

Friedrich went 0-11 with a 5.69 ERA in his previous 89 appearances.

"I didn't know that it had been four years," said Friedrich, who signed a minor league deal March 3 after the Rockies designated him for assignment. "I was sure I snaked a win last year. But I wouldn't be in this spot if not for getting an opportunity to pitch here in San Diego."

The left-hander is 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in four games - one start - against Seattle. Kyle Seager, 4 for 6 with two home runs and six RBIs in the first two games of this series, has gone 5 for 6 with a pair of homers when facing him.

Friedrich's win Friday is the only one for San Diego in the last nine games.

"Everyone's kind of pressing now," said Tuesday's starter James Shields, who tied a career high with 10 runs allowed.

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